What Does Preventive Health Care Entail?
What do you think about a system of healthcare that attempts to prevent gum disease before it happened? Great, right? Of course, it is. If most of our healthcare is bordered on prevention, hospitals will certainly be less filled than they are today. Preventive health care services are not just about a better health outcome. Overall, they are easier and more cost-effective. We will see the essential parts of this system of health care in this article.
Preventive healthcare deals with the prevention of illnesses to decrease the weight of disease in the health sector and the risk factors that lead to these diseases. This is an attempt to preclude any event of disease in the first place or nip any event of disease in the bud. At Katy’s primary care clinic, Dr. Laxman Kalvakuntla will conduct routine checkups and physical exams for you, as part of the preventive health care services you will get.
What Are The Levels Of Preventive Health Care?
Preventive health care occurs at about 4 levels. The importance of this is that each level focuses on an aspect of prevention, allowing for concentrated efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of many chronic diseases that plague mankind. The first level of prevention is the primordial level.
In a way, we all perform at the primordial level of health. We often tell our children not to eat things picked on the floor. We ensure that our houses and surroundings are regularly cleaned. These are actions that are taken to prevent future problems and decrease factors that are known to increase the risk of disease. However, they are not very specific and are only broad determinants of health. The primary level moves a step further to deal with the specific risks.
Many preventive care guidelines for adults have to do with healthy eating, cutting down on alcohol, and avoiding tobacco. These are risk factors that are particular for certain chronic diseases. We know that the risk for cardiovascular disease is reduced with these lifestyle changes. This is a great example of how the primary level of prevention answers the question on ‘how to improve preventive health care. Another role that primary prevention plays is to enhance resistance to diseases even if we are eventually exposed to them. The Covid-19 vaccine is a perfect example of this attempt. There are also many other vaccines given to different age groups to protect against various diseases. The focus of primary prevention is on those specific factors that lead to disease.
At the level of secondary prevention, early detection of disease is emphasized. It involves the use of screening procedures and clinical tests to diagnose problems early. This is why going in for routine checkups and physical exams is important. Health problems detected early resolve earlier and better than those discovered late.
At the tertiary level, the disease process has started and may have progressed to a considerable point. Here, the job is to arrest the growth of the disease process and prevent further complications that may result.
What Preventive Health Care Services Should Your Primary Care Provider Offer?
Depending on your agreement on intervals, going in for regular check-ups is top on the list. This can be once or more yearly. Physical exams and routine investigations are conducted for you. Another important service is vaccination. In childhood, vaccines are given to protect against many disease conditions like measles, mumps, rubella, and tetanus. Some of them need booster doses in adulthood. Women of reproductive age are generally advised to get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that prevents cervical cancer.
You can also get annual flu shots from your primary care provider. Routine X-rays of breast tissue (mammograms) and colonoscopies (1 every 10 years after age 50) are other preventive health care services that may be available to you.
Preventive health care is quite different from diagnostic care. If your doctor orders for an abdominopelvic ultrasound scan of your abdomen because they feel a mass, this is considered diagnostic care. Visits to specialist doctors such as a gastroenterologist for symptoms of diarrhea do not fall into the jurisdiction of preventive health care. Alternative therapies such as massage and acupuncture are also not considered preventive health care. This will help you understand why some services are not covered under your preventive health insurance plan.
Chronic diseases contribute massively to disability and death in the world. Preventive health care services aim to drastically reduce this burden.